Commission To Be Established Under Duty Free Shops Bill

The Driftwood Duty Free Shop - Port Zante

The Driftwood Duty Free Shop – Port Zante
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
October 24, 2010 (CUOPM)

A Duty Free Shops Commission is to be established under the Duty Free Shops (Licensing and Taxation) Bill, 2010.

The proposed legislation, to be presented by Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in his capacity as Minister of Finance, provides for the licensing of persons operating duty free shops, provides a facility for importing certain goods duty free, imposes and collects certain taxes and levies on the duty free shops and the duty free goods.

Clause 3 provides for persons who were operating a duty free shop prior to the commencement of the Act to be deemed to be licensed under the Act for a period of six months after the commencement of the Act after which they shall require a licence.

The Duty Free Shops Commission to be established will be responsible for reviewing applications for licences and making recommendations to the Minister of Finance in respect of the granting, refusal, renewal, revocation or suspension of licences.

The members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Minister of Finance and will comprise a senior officer in the Ministry of Finance, who shall be the chairperson; a senior officer in the Customs Department; a senior officer in the Inland Revenue Department; a senior officer in the Ministry of Tourism and any other officer from any Ministry, as the Minister thinks fit.

Clause 5 provides for the duty free shop licence and provides that such shops can only be operated under the authority of the terms and conditions of a licence issued by the Minister pursuant to Class “A” or “B” licenses.

A Class “A” duty free shop licence shall be issued by the Minister on the recommendation of the Duty Free Shops Commission. A Class “A” duty free shop licence shall entitle the licensee to operate a licensed duty free shop in any duty free zone, import, any approved goods specified in the First Schedule, free of the payment of duty and to sell such goods to residents and to visitors. A Class “A” duty free shop licence shall be liable to pay a turn over tax at a rate of 3% and a levy at a rate of 6%.

A Class “B” duty free shop licence shall be issued by the Minister on the recommendation of the Comptroller of Customs. A Class “B” duty free shop licence shall entitle the licensee to operate  a licensed duty free shop in any duty free zone, import liquor and tobacco free of the payment of customs duty, excise duty and consumption tax and sell liquor and tobacco duty free to visitors only.

Clause 8 sets out the duty free zones in which a duty free shop must be located. The 10 duty free zones set out in the Third Schedule are Basseterre; Charlestown; The Sands Complex; Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport; Vance Amory International Airport; Romney Manor; Brimstone Hill; Frigate Bay; The South East Peninsula and the White Gate Development Area.

Both the Class “A” and Class “B” licenses cost EC$10,000 and is not transferable.

Clause 10 sets out the procedure for the renewal of a duty free shop licence.

Clause 11 seeks to give the Minister the power to cancel or suspend a duty free shop licence subject to the conditions set out therein.

Clause 16 sets out the provisions for administration of the turnover tax whilst clause 17 provides for the duty free shop levy.

Clause 18 makes provision for the sale by a duty free shop licensee of retail liquor.

Clause 19 gives the Comptroller of Customs the power to enter and inspect any premises or documents for the purpose of securing compliance with the Act.

Clause 20 provides that contravention of the provisions of the Act will be an offence the penalty for which is a fine not exceeding twenty thousand dollars or a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months.

Clause 21 gives the Minister the power to make regulations subject to negative resolution of the National Assembly, while Clause 22 gives the Minister the power to amend any of the Schedules to the Act subject to negative resolution of the National Assembly.

The First Schedule lists out the list of approved goods to be sold in duty free shops.

The Second Schedule sets out the rates of turnover tax and duty free shops levy which shall be payable by duty free shop licensees.


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